Amazon Shifts Focus: Astro for Business Shelved Less Than a Year After Launch


Key Takeaways:
– Amazon to discontinue its Astro for Business program less than a year after launching it
– The company will focus on its home version of Astro according to an internal email
– Businesses will receive full refunds for the original cost of the device and a $300 credit
– Amazon made no role reductions as a result of this decision

Amazon announced that it is discontinuing its Astro for Business program. The decision comes less than a year after the program’s launch. The verdict was shared first in an internal email and later to the customers. The company now aims to invest its resources in enhancing the home version of Astro.

Focus Shifts to Consumer Robotics

Astro for Business, a mobile security robot, garnered its share of attention when it was introduced in November 2023. The robust security solution, equipped with an HD periscope and night vision technology, was capable of patrolling an area of up to 5,000 square feet autonomously. However, the company decided to stop the operations of these security robots effective from Sept. 25.

After the discontinuation, customers were encouraged to recycle the devices. Businesses will receive full refunds for the original cost of the Astro for Business device. Additionally, they will receive a $300 credit to help them move to a replacement solution. Further, refunds will be processed for unused, pre-paid Astro Secure subscription fees.

The Price of Security

Astro for Business devices started at a price of $2,350. Critics called out the company’s security subscription offerings as complicated. These offers were in three layers, which could add up to as much as $179 per month.

Luckily, no job losses transpired with the discontinuation of the business-focused robot security guard. Amazon reassured that all impacted employees will now shift their focus to consumer robotics products for the home.

Amazon’s Bet on the Future

In an internal communication, Lindo St. Angel, the Vice President of Amazon Devices, highlighted his positive outlook on robots for Amazon customers. He believes that the progress being made in home robotics is worth the resources.

St. Angel maintained that the discontinuation will help accelerate the progress of their consumer robotics products. He highlighted the potential benefits of robotic advancement and expressed confidence in the team’s capabilities.

Consumer Robotics on the Horizon

As Astro for Business ceases its operations, companies looking for a replacement have no official choice for converting these robot security guards into a home variant.

Nevertheless, these customers will receive an automatic invite to the Astro Day 1 Editions program, thus enabling them to purchase a separate home version of the robot. The program was launched in 2021, targeting home users on an invite-only basis.

Amazon had informed customers the Astro for Business device would no longer function from Sept. 25. It emphasized that personal data will be deleted from the device and that any patrol videos recorded would still be accessible until the storage time expiries.

As the sun sets on the Astro for Business program, Amazon reiterates its commitment to the home variant. The company aims to bring world-class consumer robotics solutions home, reflecting its long-term vision of harnessing the power of robots for customers’ benefit.

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